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Gallery C, located in downtown Raleigh, is presenting new oils and watercolors by Katrina Schmidt-Rinke. The series, which displays 13 pieces based on the elements of air and water, runs through March 26.


N.C. Central University Art Museum, in Durham, is hosting the work of printmaker Robin Holder in an exhibit titled "A Layered Perspective" through April 18. It includes 41 prints representing a wide range of techniques and themes.


The Durham Arts Council celebrates the recipients of this year's Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist grants on March 13 with lively performances by past recipients.


Featured artists at the Cary Gallery of Artists include Jill Ciccone Pike and Ann Howe. Coffee with the artists, including a demonstration, takes place March 1. The show runs through March 25.


Kathy King, a Cary-based jewelry artist and author, returned to the American Craft Council wholesale show in Baltimore for the second consecutive year. The three-day buyer event featured more than 500 top jewelry, fashion and home décor artists. They were selected in a rigorous jury process. King is the author of "Bead Quilled Jewelry: New Beadwork Designs With Square Stitch."


Sheila Yong, Ph.D., a trainee at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, is one of 13 scientist-artists featured in a 2014 calendar published by an international laboratory supply company. Yong's artwork is on the September page of the calendar, which is on display in offices and labs around the world.





The Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce announced the election of new officers, including immediate past chair Paige Zinn, a principal at Jennings, as well as new members of the board of directors, including Wendy Smith, co-owner of Cameron's.


The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce announced the members of its 2014 board of directors and officers. They include Vanessa Jenkins (Preston Development) as chair elect, Veronica Bent (Fidelity Bank) and Kimberly Copney (Costco).



Raleigh's Jenny Doyle was accepted to the American Association of Immigration Lawyers. Doyle specializes in humanitarian cases and those involving women and children. The attorney previously served as vice-chair of the executive board of Wake County Health Services, working to promote access to health care.


The Merrimon-Wynne House, built in 1876 and located in downtown Raleigh, celebrated its grand re-opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month. The house serves as the area's newest wedding and event venue. Jodi Strenkowski owns the recently restored landmark.


Carolina Advanced Digital, in Siler City, was certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a federal HUBZone business. The HUBZone program aims to stimulate economic growth in urban and rural areas. The local company is co-owned by Susan Jabbusch, who also serves as executive vice president.


Kirsten Lemmons joined Christina Motley, LLC and Apogee Social Media Group as a digital copywriter. A recent graduate of Raleigh's N.C. State University, Lemmons is focusing on social media and online branding.


For the second consecutive year, LiveWell Assisted Living was selected as a Caring Star in a nationwide program honoring service excellence based on consumer ratings and reviews posted on Caring.com, the senior-care website. In reviews, LiveWell Assisted Living captured a 5-star consumer rating (the highest possible score). Diane Beckett is executive director of the Chapel Hill assisted living and Alzheimer's care community.


    The N.C. Department of Transportation, in Raleigh, announced:
  • Debra Collins is the new director of the public transportation division. She oversees day-to-day operations and fosters the development of intercity, urban and rural public transportation in the state. Collins comes to the department from the Institute for Transportation Research Education at N.C. State University.
  • Michelle Muir is the new director of customer service for the N.C. Turnpike Authority. Muir, who has a background in marketing and business development, has served on planning boards in Wake County.


Cora Cole-McFadden, Durham's mayor pro tempore, was appointed to the community and economic development policy and advocacy committee of the National League of Cities. In this group, Cole-McFadden shapes the league's policy positions and advocates for U.S. cities and towns before Congress.




Shafonda Davis was promoted to executive director of the Animal Protection Society of Durham, the nonprofit organization that runs the city's animal shelter. Davis began working with the group in 1998 as an adoption counselor and has held several positions within the shelter, including adoption lead, assistant shelter manager, adoptions manager, shelter manager and shelter director.


The N.C. Executive Roundtable announced its new board of directors, officers and committee chairs for 2014. Wendy Coulter, CEO of Hummingbird Creative Group, in Raleigh, was appointed chair of the marketing and communications committee as well as a member of the board.


Advocates for Health in Action, of Raleigh, presents "Dig In!" on March 8. This event is geared toward helping Wake County residents grow fresh, healthy food. "Dig In" features workshops on community and other gardens, edible cityscapes and landscapes. Sara Merz is the director of the group.


Activate Good, a Raleigh-based nonprofit volunteer center that connects individuals, groups and companies with charitable causes, is striving to complete 21 pro bono projects by April 30. Amber Smith, Activate Good's executive director, says these projects will greatly improve charities' abilities to serve the community. Groups such as Dress for Success, HopeLine and Marbles Kids Museum will benefit from this work.


The Research Triangle Park chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association elected a new executive committee. The members are Nannette Stangle-Castor (InnoVector Tech), Amanda Rhodes (Strategic Solutions and McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions), Doreen Grech (UCB), Ruth Williams (Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company), Carey Wagner (GlaxoSmithKline), Nina Patel Lahanis (Drug Safety Alliance), Charlene Dark (Quintiles), Dawn Brehm (Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers), Lorra Gosselin (CMG Partners), Robin Gallagher (PPD), Kim Boericke (Quintiles), Robin Whitsell (Whitsell Innovations) and Schanel Mize (GlaxoSmithKline).


Racquel Williams of Racquel Williams Corp., a consulting firm in Raleigh, won the Business Pitch Competition for Women Entrepreneurs from Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence. The nonprofit provides community support for female entrepreneurs.


Raleigh's Virginia Parker joined United Way of the Greater Triangle as the leader of its resource development department. Her focus is expanding workplace relationships and engagement as well as developing major gifts, grants and new partnerships.


The American Society for Quality, in Raleigh, announced the members of its 2014 board and leadership council. They include Joanne Mayo (Laird Technologies), Stephanie Ploeger (Grifols) and Megan Summerlin (Expressions Analysis). The society has more than 900 local members, spanning a diverse range of industries and professions with the goal of linking the best ideas, tools and experts.


Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, presented Katie Early, director of development for Ipas (a global nonprofit), with the Margaret Sanger Award at the annual Champions of Choice breakfast.


Desiree Goldman is the new government affairs director of the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors. Previously, Goldman worked as the legislative affairs liaison for the group.


Dianne Goode, a Realtor at Raleigh Cary Realty, is the 2014 president of the regional chapter of the National Women's Council of Realtors. The council is a professional development organization with more than 19,000 members.


Mary Burr Edwards and Deborah Maxwell joined Fonville Morisey Realty, of Raleigh, as full-time sales associates in the Falls office.


Reyna Estrada was named to the chairman's circle at Raleigh's M/I Homes for her outstanding work as an Internet sales specialist.



Clothes Mentor, the country's first resale chain for women, opened a location in Chapel Hill. The clothing store is co-owned by Kim Vassiliadis, a librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill for almost 13 years.


Stephanie Webster is the team leader for the new Target store in Cary. Webster is in charge of more than 200 employees, ranging from salaried executives and hourly managers to part-time cashiers. She began her career with Target almost 20 years ago and has participated in the opening of 50 stores on the East Coast.




Valerie Ashby, of Durham, received the UNC-Chapel Hill General Alumni Association Faculty Service Award. Ashby is the chair of the chemistry department at the university. Her research focuses on synthesis of biomaterials used for drug delivery and gene therapy.


    N.C. State University, in Raleigh, announced:
  • Researchers are developing an antibiotic "smart bomb" used for identifying strains of bacteria, severing their DNA and eliminating the infection. This new approach differs from traditional antibiotics because it kills only the "bad" bacteria. The co-authors of a paper on the work include Heidi Klumpe, a former undergraduate at the university, and Michelle Luo, a Ph.D. student.
  • Scientists are using silver nanowires to develop wearable, multifunctional sensors that could be used in biomedical, military or athletic applications. These sensors can measure strain, pressure, human touch and bioelectric signals. The technology aids the development of prosthetics that respond to the wearer's movement. Shanshan Yao, a Ph.D. student, is the lead author of a paper on the research.
  • Neurologist Natasha Olby and her team found a link between a mutation in a gene called RAB 24 and an inherited neurodegenerative disease in Old English sheepdogs and Gordon setters. The findings may help identify treatments for canine and human sufferers.


UNC School of Medicine researchers, led by Nancy Klauber-DeMore, professor of surgery, are creating a technique that allows doctors to see tumors without the use of radiation. This process combines ultrasound with a contrast agent composed of tiny bubbles. The microbubble contrast agent improves visibility for the tumor-detecting scans.


Three employees from Lord Corp., in Cary, were recognized at the Women in Manufacturing STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Awards program. They are Megan Agrafiotis, manufacturing engineering manager, J.P. Huang, M.D., senior staff scientist of chemical research, and Sharon Martin, director of global supply chain planning.


    The National Institute of Environmental Health, in Research Triangle Park, announced:
  • The launch of the NIEHS WHO (World Health Organization) Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences. "By joining forces, NIEHS and WHO will help to ensure that cutting-edge environmental health science will be translated into effective public health interventions to improve health around the world," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., NIEHS and National Toxicology program director. Activities of the center will focus on children's environmental health, climate change and human health, developmental origins of health and disease, electronic waste, and indoor air pollution.
  • Employees at NIEHS raised more than $100,000 for charitable organizations last year. The effort was part of the Combined Federal Campaign, the largest workplace giving program in the world. The campaign provides an opportunity for federal employees to give back to the local community.




Amanda Gorecki, president and founder of Healing Waters Spa and Cosmetic Clinic, in Durham, received the 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Magazine Award. Gorecki participated in the category of businesses with annual sales of $2 to $5 million.


Rex Healthcare launched its mobile mammography unit that covers 15 counties in and around the Triangle, including rural areas with limited access to medical care. The service offers easy access and high-quality screenings for women in underserved regions, regardless of health insurance or financial status.


Jill B. Hamilton, Ph.D., a specialist in the role of social support and spirituality in patient care, is the keynote speaker for N.C. Central University's Helen S. Miller lecture and luncheon on March 6, in Durham. Hamilton's research focuses on spiritual and religious practices of older African-Americans during times of illness or stressful situations.


Kate Thieda, a licensed professional counselor associate, opened a private psychotherapy practice in Durham. Thieda specializes in mood disorders, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.


StudioVIBE, a yoga, pilates and movement studio in Cary, expanded its program to include aerial yoga. This style of yoga uses a suspended, aerial hammock made of silk that's designed to deepen stretches. StudioVIBE, which is owned by Patty Geiger, is the only spot in western Wake County offering these classes.



Ruth Moose, a resident of Pittsboro, releases her first work of fiction, "Doing It at the Dixie Dew," in May. The mystery is set in a Southern town. Its main character, Beth McKenzie, opens a bed-and-breakfast only to find her first guest murdered. The novel, which is available now for pre-order, is published by Minotaur Books.


Raleigh's Cindy Huggett wrote "The Virtual Training Guidebook," a how-to for online learning. Huggett notes that virtual training provides a flexible and cost-effective way to gain knowlege. The guidebook is published by the American Society for Training and Development Press.


Cheryle E. Johnson, a resident of Durham, released her newest book, "Making Every Moment Count." This book is inspired by the critical moments that reshaped her views on life. Johnson has served on the boards of the Durham County Women's Coalition and the Durham School for the Arts as well as the bereavement advisory committee of Duke University Medical Center.




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